An estimated 600,000 people aged 19 to 64 are now qualified to receive Medicaid health care coverage in North Carolina and can start applying Dec. 1. These individuals previously fell into a gray area where they earned too much for traditional Medicaid but too little for subsidized private health insurance. This expansion will allow for increased access to health care in rural areas, as well as improved health care for veterans, working adults and their families.

Wondering if the Medicaid expansion applies to you? Here’s what you need to know.

Need a new doctor for your family? Get the care you deserve.

Find one now

What is Medicaid?

Medicaid is a health insurance program for certain low-income people that is paid with federal, state and county dollars. See table below for income eligibility guidelines. Medicaid pays for doctor’s visits, yearly checkups, emergency care and mental health care services at little to no cost to the patient.

NC Medicaid covers most health services, including:

  • Primary care so you can go to a clinic for a checkup when you are not feeling well.
  • Hospital services, including when you need to stay overnight (inpatient) and when you receive a procedure and can go home the same day (outpatient).
  • Maternity and postpartum care for when you are pregnant and after giving birth.
  • Vision and hearing services.
  • Mental health care.
  • Prescription drug benefits to pay for your medicines.
  • Preventive and wellness services.
  • Devices and other therapies.

To learn more about Medicaid, visit Novant Health’s Medicaid FAQs here.

Why is NC Medicaid being expanded?

Under the Affordable Care Act (often called “Obamacare”), each state has the option to expand its Medicaid coverage to more adults and receive federal funding to do so. North Carolina became the 41st state (including Washington D.C.) to expand its Medicaid health coverage.

Research shows that expanding Medicaid health coverage increases access to quality health care, improves health outcomes, creates jobs and strengthens the economy. It helps people with low incomes earn more money and keep themselves healthy.

Who is eligible under the new NC Medicaid expansion?

Most people can get Medicaid coverage if they meet the following criteria:

  • Living in North Carolina.
  • Between ages 19-64.
  • U.S. citizen (some non-U.S. citizens can also get health care coverage through Medicaid)
  • Household income at or below 138% of the federal poverty level. The chart below shows these income levels for households between one and six family members.
income chart

How do I apply for NC Medicaid?

There are several ways you can apply for NC Medicaid health coverage:

Once your application is approved, you will receive confirmation in the mail with a new ID card. You will use this card to get health care services.

You can choose a Novant Health primary care physician at one of our many clinics that accept Medicaid health coverage. Your health care through Novant Health includes convenient clinic locations, same-day appointments, video appointments and access to free online health tools.

Visit for a complete list of Novant Health clinics accepting Medicaid health coverage.